When you think about someone getting arrested and charged for drunk driving, you probably think about a person who has had far too much to drink. They may be outwardly drunk and even a little belligerent.
The reality is that many people who are stopped for drunk driving aren’t that way at all. Even those who have had only a single drink could end up facing allegations of drunk driving despite having very little alcohol in their systems.
A BAC of .08% is the per se limit
A .08% blood alcohol content (BAC) is known as the “per see” limit. This limit describes the maximum blood alcohol content someone could have before being automatically considered drunk behind the wheel. Below that per se limit, you can actually still be impaired, stopped, questioned and arrested.
If your BAC is under .08%, the police have to gather more evidence than just the Breathalyzer test result. They’ll need you to complete a field sobriety test and multiple Breathalyzer tests, for example. They may ask questions and try to figure out if you’re impaired or capable of driving.
Remember, you can be arrested for driving while impaired due to illegal drugs, alcohol, prescription medications and over-the-counter medications. Any substance that impairs you can lead to a traffic stop and charges.
What should you do if you get pulled over?
Don’t panic if you get pulled over. You don’t have to answer any questions that may incriminate you, but remember to be polite when refusing. If you are arrested, stay silent and remember that you can ask for your attorney before speaking with officers at the police station.